Beau Mertens returns to scale after winning on Pedrena (Image: Racing Photos)

Beau Mertens returns to scale after winning on Pedrena (Image: Racing Photos)

Mertens extends premiership lead

Jockey Beau Mertens extended his lead in the Melbourne premiership with a victory aboard the Mick Price-trained Pedrena at Flemington on Saturday.

Mertens went into the meeting with 62 Victorian metropolitan wins for the season, one more than last year’s premiership winner Craig Williams who was riding at Doomben on Saturday.

After settling in the box seat aboard the daughter of Mossman, Mertens drove Pedrena ($3.50) through a gap on the rail at the top of the straight before she had enough in reserve to hold off the fast-finishing Samovare ($2.80F) by a neck on the line, with Alma’s Rossa ($21) further back in third.

Mertens paid tribute to the three-year-old filly with which he is building an impressive association.

“This is my second ride on her for (a second) win. She tries pretty hard in her races and over 1400m and a little bit fresh, she goes well,” Mertens said.

“I was able to get the box seat (third) without doing any work and the run presented itself on the inside and she put her head straight in there and finished off a nice race.”

Trainer Mick Price said the drop back to 1400m was the key for Pedrena, who he said might now head to the paddock.

“I thought she was a bit disappointing over a mile (1600m). I thought her last 200m was a bit soft and I felt that she didn’t tough the mile out as she does 1400m and today looked the ideal race,” Price said.  

“I think she’ll be a better four-year-old mare and I’m looking forward to her growing up and developing a bit as I think she’s still a bit immature.

“That’s five runs for her this preparation and she’s not much good on (wet) ground so that is just about the end of the road for her this preparation.”